SBT Seabuckthorn Skin Care Program

Cleanse your face 2-3 times a day with clean fingers.[1][2][3]

1.   Gently pat your face dry with a very clean soft towel that is not used for any other purpose. Do not share towels with others, or dry your face with a towel you use for anything else (drying your hands or body). Change your face towel often.[4]

2.   Massage/exfoliate at least once a day for thirty seconds, while cleansing.[5]

3.   Avoid touching your face whenever possible.[6]

4.   Wash your face after exercise and do not go to bed with sunscreen or makeup on your face.

5.   Regularly wash/disinfect any objects that come into contact with your face, such as phone mouthpieces and eyeglasses. Be careful with disinfecting metal though; some preparations (hydrogen peroxide, alcohol) can cause metals to tarnish.

Questions And Answers

My face seems to be oilier now, isnít that bad?

No. There are three reasons why your face is oilier: the exfoliation is removing layers of dead skin that either plugged your pores or absorbed the oil (yuck!), and the gentle massage is stimulating the tiny muscles that work your pores. Sebaceous oil is part of your faceís way of cleansing itself; as it moves from the depths of your pores to the surface, it carries dead skin cells, bacteria, and impurities. Also, the massage improves circulation to your face, stimulating cells that may have been sluggish or dormant. If the oil bothers you, either add an extra cleanse during the day or just gently blot your face with a tissue.

Iíve been told to avoid anything that causes flushing; if the massage stimulates circulation, isnít that bad?

Again, no. You are exfoliating your face with a feather-soft finger massage; you are not stimulating the larger blood vessels that feed your facial tissues, but rather the tiny vessels feeding the tiny muscles that govern your pores. Test it for yourself; after the 30 second massage, look at your face. Your face is not flushed; the massage is not even sufficiently vigorous to redden blemishes!

Iím particularly concerned about bacteria; wouldnít it be better to dry my face with paper towels?

Youíre right to be concerned about transferring bacteria to your face via towels; a paper towel is probably more sanitary than a cloth towel that has been used even once (since laundering); however, the answer is no. Paper towels, tissues, and most packaged Ďwipeí type cleansing pads are to be avoided for two reasons: One, anything made from wood fibres is scratchy on a microscopic level, no matter how soft it is (why do you think opticians tell you never to wipe your glasses with tissues? Itís because even a soft tissue or toilet paper will scratch the surface). Whether your skin condition is acne or rosacea, any type of micro-tears are extremely undesirable, because they stimulate a histamine reaction and they provide a location for bacteria to invade. And two, all wood fibre textiles are very acidic and, like most cotton swabs, high in chemicals.

A good compromise is to dry your face with a washcloth, you wonít be doing as much laundry even if you change it frequently. Just make sure youíre the only person using it in your household, and donít use it to dry your hands after washing them. Just your face!

I love the idea of exfoliating and massaging, but is that light a touch going to do anything?

Yes! Itís the magic of complementary proteins. First, you must know that it is absolutely not better to rub harder, no matter whether you have a skin condition youíre treating or you just want cleaner, more youthful skin. Applying too much pressure will:

  • Stretch your skin (thatís never good!)

  • Actually exfoliate less because the force will be transferred deeper 
    into the tissue, rather than staying on the surface

  • Stimulate your deeper, bigger capillaries

  • Irritate blemishes

Your clean fingertips act perfectly on your face, removing the maximum dead skin while leaving the living tissue intact and thriving. You donít need pressure, your fingertips are like an eraser removing unwanted cells as if they were a spelling mistake! Rubbing harder just wears out the paper, right?

Iíve been using an exfoliating scrub; should I stop?

Um, yes. On your face, at least. Gritty scrubs are great for exfoliating trouble areas like your bottom, knees, etc, but first, the grains are too coarse to effectively exfoliate your face; second, they leave tiny scratches which irritate blemishes, invite bacterial invasion and contribute to aging, and third; the scrubbing action pulls the skin of your face, loosening and stretching it. Not good.

How long should I massage/exfoliate every day? Can I go longer than 30 seconds at a time?

It depends on a great many things; your complexion, the temperature/humidity, how quickly your face surrenders its impurities, and many other factors. We recommend starting with 15-30 seconds twice a day (if you donít have a timer handy, once through ĎHappy Birthdayí is about 15 seconds), and adjust up or down after a week or so. Itís not necessarily better to work your skin for longer; over-exfoliating can leave your skin dry and can irritate blemishes.

Whatís the big deal about clean fingers? I donít even have a nail brush!

Well, get one! But seriously, our hands pick up dirt and bacteria all day long, nail beds are a haven for microbes, and carefully washing your hands before cleansing or touching your face will make a difference. This is a program, all the elements are important, they all work together to improve your complexion.

Why canít I touch my face?

Youíll be very tempted. Your face will get very, very soft after a few days of treatment with SBT Seabuckthorn products, and of course itís always tempting to check bumps, pick scabs, etc. Resist the temptation! Every touch transfers bacteria and dirt to your face and stimulates oil production, and touching or interfering with blemishes will almost always slow healing. Even the mouthpiece of your phone can cause blemishes; make sure itís clean! A wipe with a damp cloth with a teensy bit of dish soap will do the trick, or use a Ďwet wipeí type tissue. If you use soap or a strong cleanser wipe with a plain wet towel after.

What about extractions?

Itís preferable to have them done by an aesthetician, but if you must do extractions, try to limit yourself to once a week at most. Extractions seldom make blemishes heal more quickly, they often cause or spread infections, may lead to scarring, and almost always bruise your skin. A blemish may be visible from 5 feet away, but red patches are visible from all the way across the ballroom! And if your blemishes are rosacea, never ever do extractions; it will further enflame and irritate your complexion.

[1] Wash your hands thoroughly with warm soapy water and a nail brush before cleansing or otherwise touching your face.

[2] Clean fingertips are the best thing to cleanse your face; they are perfectly smooth and the protein (skin) maintains a productive tension with the skin on your face. Thatís why loofahs (made of protein) are so good for exfoliation. Does that mean you should use a loofah on your face? NO. It is made of coarse fibres, which Ė while perfect for exfoliating rough spots on your body Ė is too heavy for your face. A loofah (and most other cleansing aids like face cloths, face pads, etc) will cause micro-tears in your skin, which will contribute to premature aging as well as bacteria growth. They will also stretch the skin and underlying muscles, promoting sagging and wrinkles. Also, contrary to popular belief, human skin is a bacteria antagonist, which means clean fingers are better at removing (and less likely to deposit) microbes.

[3] Cleanse your face three times a day only if your face is extremely oily or after exercising.

[4] However, do not use disposable towels to dry your face. If necessary, you may use facecloths and change them every day or even every cleansing; but disposable towels are high in acid and may irritate your face.

[5] Massage your face lightly for 30 seconds up to 3 times a day, moving your fingers up, in and down as per the diagram. Your touch should be very light, as if you were applying salve to a sunburn. If you watch yourself in the mirror there should not be too much movement; if your face moves very much as you massage, you are pressing too hard.

[6] Touching your face transfers bacteria to your face and also stimulates oil production.

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